Japan is a land of mystery to many of us in America.
Their culture and economy is completely different, but there are also many distinct similarities.
Regardless of their unique ways, one thing is for sure: they are hungry for American dental education.
When they looked to the United States for a doctor to come and mentor, they didn’t have to look far to find a man uniquely qualified to teach them.
Dr. Michael Morgan is probably the biggest star in the world of composite resin study that you’ve never heard of.
His name may be a little nondescript, but there’s nothing “normal” about his history of educating.
His Bio reads like a history book of the last 15 years of American cosmetic dental continuing education.
He was there for the boom, teaching at both LVI and PAC-Live back when they were the 800 pound gorillas in Cosmetic dentistry.
From there, he used that resume to springboard into all the big U.S. meetings: ADA, AGD, AACD, etc. Then, it was time to go international.
Dr. Morgan took his show on the road to Switzerland, Russia, Ukraine, Malaysia, the Philippines, England, and finally he landed on the shores of Japan.
He was asked about 2 years ago to come to Japan by Dr. Junji Tagami, who is affectionately considered the “Godfather of Dentistry” in Japan. He spoke to his students and residents at Tokyo Medical Dental University, which was quite and honor.
Dr. Morgan spent his time doing roundtables and consults with the residents there and, soon, he was published in their journals.
Then, he was asked back to their country in 2012 (another great honor) to do presentations at the Japanese Esthetic Dental meeting in Hokkaido. There were presenters and attendees form all over Asia and other parts of the world as well.
One thing that struck Dr. Morgan while he was there was that there is a serious need in Japan to find a way to do a quality composite very efficiently, but very clinically sound.
You see, the Japanese people still consider honor to be very important to their culture and it is ingrained and woven into their history. To do shabby work wouldn’t be acceptable there. Yet, they routinely only receive the equivalent of $30 U.S. dollars to do a posterior resin.
There is a need to find a way to help them improve their income, yet still maintain their honor of providing a quality restoration.
Dr. Morgan is currently taking up that charge and working behind the scenes to find a technique or sequence that can accomplish both of these desired outcomes.
As the trip wound down, Dr. Morgan also had the opportunity to visit the clinic of Dr. Hirofumi Tashiro, who is considered one of the best young dentists in Japan. His office was truly a model of efficiency. Bright and nicely decorated, immaculately clean, always runs on time, and probably does more production per square foot than most office in this country. Not just production, but very high quality production.
That trip changed the way Dr. Michael Morgan looked at dentistry in other countries and it probably changed the way he looks at dentistry, anywhere. Period.
As 2013 gets underway, there is no telling how those travels will shape the way Dr. Michael approaches his teaching style. Heck, who knows how it will affect dentistry in the world as we know it.
Only time will tell.